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Thread: 15n20 as blade steel

  1. #11
    JMJones, I'm sorry I didn't follow up on your question. I never got a message.....
    I have not tried any more 15n20 in a while, but hope to soon. I'm not sure why the residual curve stayed. I tempered the blades while c-clamped to angle iron at 375F, but no luck there. Even over-shimmed to compensate. I have another in the works though, and we'll see how it goes.
    Tom Gray, Seagrove, NC

  2. #12
    thanks Andy! I still have about 20 ft x 8 in. Where are you and what you got?
    Tom Gray, Seagrove, NC

  3. #13

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    Andy, I think that a number of people would like to use 15N20, but you just can't get it thick enough and most people don't have the gear to mash it together. Like I said before, I think it would be great for hard use knives like L6, but a LOT easier to mess with.

  4. #14
    How thick is the stock typically? It's usually hard to find steel thin enough for kitchen knives.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    How thick is the stock typically? It's usually hard to find steel thin enough for kitchen knives.
    Depends on what one calls kitchen knife steel.

  6. #16

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    I personally like to use 15N20. It is pretty damn tough, the nickel helps a tiny bit with corrosion, It hardens quite well, and is this...That means less expense in thinning it. When hardened it takes quite a wicked edge and seems to hold it quite well...Just my 2 cents on this.

  7. #17

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    Eamon, we have been hard pressed until recently to find any 15N20 thicker than about .057. The most common size that I have seen is .049. Some guys stack as many as 3-4 pieces of that stuff into one layer with 3/16-1/4 plain carbon steel to get high contrast damascus. Aldo has some .072 and I saw some .103 or .125 somewhere the other day, but that is about the thickest I have ever seen. the good thing about 15N20 or its analogue 75Ni8 is that it is high carbon so you don't have to worry about how much you put in a billet unlike some of the low or no carbon stuff like 300 series stainless, 1018, 203E or pure nickel. Like Mike said, the nickels buys you a little bit of corrosion resistance, at least enough to resist etching with Ferric Chloride compared to carbon steel with no nickel.
    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    How thick is the stock typically? It's usually hard to find steel thin enough for kitchen knives.

  8. #18
    I have enough 3/32 from a local sawmill to last me for a while right now. I've only made 3 knives from it so far, sold one and gave two (2nds) to friends, and all seem to be enjoying them. I want to work my way thru the 1075 I have on hand over next few months before I begin annealing what 15n20 I have on hand. So right now, I'm good.
    Tom Gray, Seagrove, NC

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    Why are you looking for thick slabs for kitchen knives?
    I don't touch anything under oversize 1/8, regardless whether I am making a petty or gyuto. The optimal thickness, in my opinion is about 3.6mm to start with, for heat treating (thicker stock will retain heat uniformly while quenched, than thinner or pre-ground) and for stock removal - tang and choil area can be thicker,a adding to sturdiness of a knife. More work, but better knife (IMHO) overall.


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  10. #20

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    I forgot I started this thread awhile ago. I recently finished a test knife in 15n20, a 270 gyuto with a slight convex grind. It gets plenty sharp and does seem to be a little less reactive than other carbon steels I have used. In some abuse testing I was able to get the edge to roll while cutting raw chicken thigh bones diagonally, I used a steel to literally push the roll back into place and it looks like nothing happened, so it does seem pretty tough.

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